St. John’s Episcopal Church
207 Albany Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401

The Good News of St. John’s

  1. March 27, 2021

    Holy Week at St. John’s

    As Christians, the story of Holy Week is of primary importance in understanding our relationship with God and one another because it prepares us for Easter and the Feast of the Resurrection.  The only other celebration to receive such emphasis in our tradition is Christmas.

    The balance of both narratives is vital to our Christian faith:  Christmas, or the Feast of the Incarnation, re-minds us of our deeply holy nature, knit together to be God’s own creation in the world.  While the Resurrection re-members us as a body, calling us into deeper relationship with one another, to share the Love that is Christ with the entire world, as the Body of Christ.

    The Paschal (Easter) Triduum is one continuous liturgy held over the course of 3 days whose purpose is to help us experience this deeply moving story of our faith in ways that inspire our hearts to continue to open to its truth – that violence is never the last word.  Love is.  God’s Love is always and forever the Christ who tramples death and raises us from our worldly graves and tombs of fear and hatred.

    Especially this year, after this time of great stress in our society and the devastation and grief caused by a global pandemic, our participation in this 3-day liturgy will be particularly meaningful.  As a community, we engage in a movement that begins with the theme of love and service, leads us through desolation and fear, until we finally arrive in the hope of God’s salvation.  This movement is so important for us to recall because it’s so easy to get lost in fear and anxiety.  This 3-part liturgy is designed to deepen our faith and strengthen us for our path.

    Maundy Thursday: April 1 at 6:00 pm.  We honor the last supper by focusing on the themes of service and love, ending with the Stripping of the Altar.

    The Watch in the Garden of Gethsemane is long-standing tradition at St. John’s where people are invited to keep vigil in the Garden along with Jesus in his last hours.  You can log on at any time after the end of the Maundy Thursday service up until 12:00 midnight to sit in contemplation.  Meditations are available where you find the Zoom links.

    Good Friday: April 2 at 1:00 pm.  We reflect on the devastation wrought in this world through human sin.

    The Great Vigil of Easter: April 3 at 8:00 pm.  We listen to the great stories of God’s salvation from scripture and awaken to the love that is Christ present in the world.

    Easter Sunday Festival Worship: April 4 at 10:00 am.  This year’s presider and preacher is the Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool.

    All services will be held over Zoom and broadcast onto Facebook.
    Go to: for the Zoom links.
    Rooms will open 20 minutes prior to worship.

    A note regarding bulletins:
    Those who signed-up for Holy Week Bags will have received a booklet for the Pascal Triduum, but will need to download the Sunday bulletins for both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.
    For those who did NOT sign up for Holy Week Bags, separate bulletins will be available for download for each Triduum service on the website.


    Returning and Gratitude

    Dear Ones:  I’m so humbled and grateful for your prayers, love, and support over the past few weeks while Ana and I “encountered” this death-dealing virus called covid.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Beautiful cards coming in the mail.  Food dropped off at our door.  Flowers and “get well” balloons arriving.  And all the prayers flooding us – both Ana and I could feel we were being prayed for.  Thank you, my beloved friends, from both of us.

    Ana has been home now a couple of days.  She was in the hospital a total of 10 days so her rehabilitation will be long as she gets used to using her muscles and joints again and rebuilds her endurance.  But we’re getting everything straightened out and, although it’s hard for her to see it sometimes, she really is getting better every day.

    I am getting better too, although my doctor yelled at me for doing laundry last week because she thought it was too strenuous.  Turns out she was right.  I get tired very easily… and that’s NOT an easy thing for me to admit to.  So, I’ve reduced my hours and my workload as I tend to both Ana and myself in our recovery.

    Thankfully, the Rev. Canon Jeanne Person, from the diocesan staff has agreed to be with us for Holy Week.  She will be preaching and presiding this Sunday for our Palm Sunday celebration.  As many of you know, I was on a diocesan staff before coming to St. John’s and it was always very meaningful when I could walk through Holy Week with one congregation.  So, I’m pleased to welcome Canon Jeanne to St. John’s to help us celebrate.  I know it means as much to her as it does to us that she is with us.

    I will be joining you all again in worship beginning on Maundy Thursday and will share preaching and presiding responsibilities with Canon Jeanne for the Pascal Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil).  And then we will have Bp. Mary Glasspool with us (via Zoom) for Easter Sunday.  What a gift!  And such loving support from our diocese as I recover from this horrible virus.

    Finally, I cannot thank our leadership enough for making sure things kept moving – Lynn Dennison and Claudette Ford, our Wardens… for everything.  Cathe Decker and Cathy Whittaker, who have been leading our weekday services.  The Rev. Alison Quin for preaching and presiding last week.  Terry Earles for being flexible and pastoral in his service to you all.  Laura Ricci, Cathe Decker and our Vestry members for leading in various ways. And, as always, Deacon Sue who jumped in the deep end to keep everyone connected and has pulled together a group of people to produce some truly beautiful Holy Week Bags!

    We will be getting back to “normal” (whatever that means in a pandemic) during the Easter Season as I slowly resume my duties.

    Again, thank you all so much for your prayers, your support, and your love.  Hope remains and Love is always the last word.

    In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle


    Announcements for March 28, 2021

    The Clothing Shed is open again!  Yes, the clothing shed in our parking lot is open again.  Please let everyone know that they can drop off clothing and housewares (textiles only!).  Everything needs to be in a sealed bag and every bit helps to raise money for St. John’s.

    The Page Turners Book Club:  For April 6th we are reading “Apeirogon,” by Colum McCann. We meet at 7 pm, by Zoom, for about an hour. Contact Lynn Dennison for more information at:

    Holy Week Schedule of Services

    • Palm Sunday: March 28 at 10:00 am.  The Rev. Canon Jeanne Person preaching and presiding.
    • The Pascal Triduum – The Rev. Michelle Meech and the Rev. Canon Jeanne Person will share preaching and presiding duties for this 3-day liturgy.
      • Maundy Thursday: April 1 at 6:00 pm
                  “Vigil in Gethsemane” held online until 12:00 midnight
      • Good Friday: April 2 at 1:00 pm
      • The Great Vigil of Easter at 8:00 pm
    • Easter Sunday: April 4 at 10:00 am.  The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool preaching and presiding.  Rev. Michelle will be in attendance.


    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to

  2. March 5, 2021

    The St. John’s Prayer Chain

    Being a member of a Prayer Chain is a sacred and life-giving ministry.  As Christians, we are all called to pray for one another and members of a Prayer Chain are those who keep prayers going when so many of us get distracted.  They keep us all connected to one another through a belief in prayer as that connection.  Intercessory prayer is an active response to the life of the community and is a reminder to us that God is the ground of our being.

    Different people use different bodily positions for prayer—always using what helps them to feel centered, whether that be kneeling or sitting, standing or walking.  Some light a candle or handle beads or wear a prayer shawl.  Because we’re often so distracted, some people find it helpful to focus their concentration before they begin to pray – perhaps closing their eyes or taking long, slow, deep breaths.

    But always, the most important thing about prayer is to begin with an orientation of gratitude.  Because it is to God we pray, our creator and the ground of our being, an orientation of gratitude brings us into a deeper awareness of the gift of life itself and, therefore, just how precious and mysterious we all are.

    So if you’d like to join the St. John’s Prayer Chain, please contact the Prayer Chain Moderator, Cathe Decker.  She will add you to the list of people who receive Prayer Chain requests.  You can email her at:


    Tending Our Light

    Our weekly offering of goodness to help keep our spirits buoyed and our mental health on track through the darker months of winter.

    This is a repeat of the note from last week because, even though the vaccine is becoming more widely available, there is still a great deal of anxiety and “not knowing” as we start to look at the end of this time of confinement and restriction and fear.  Trusting our public spaces again is going to be challenging and we’re all still going through so much from the economic fallout personal losses.

    Support groups bring together individuals who are facing similar issues, whether that be an illness, relationship problem, or major life changes. Members of support groups often share their experiences and advice. It can be helpful just getting to talk with other people who are in the same situation.

    The Mental Health Association of Ulster County offers a variety of free support groups. These groups are free and open to everyone in the community. Currently we have a variety of open drop-in groups as well as Anger Management Classes, and Eating Disorder Support Groups.

    That’s not all!  The MHA has many other resources to support all of us including recovery and wellness services.  Please visit their site to learn more about all the programs the MHA has to offer.  Click here to learn more.



    Dear Ones:  A post came across my Facebook feed from 5 years ago.  It was a picture of the front of the monthly St. John’s newsletter we used to have in which I wrote a short note to you all as I was packing up my things in Michigan so I could come and be your priest here at St. John’s.  In it, I spoke of the need for rest during transition.  When I read it I thought, “I’m wiser than I remember being!”  What a gift it’s been to read this again.

    First, just let me say that it’s hard to believe that it’s already been 5 years!  Thank you for calling me to be among you and lead us as a congregation.  I have learned so much from you all and look forward to finding out what God has in store for us in the coming years.

    Second, I’ve decided to follow my own advice and take some rest – a full week of downtime, a retreat of sorts.  The past two years have been an emotional rollercoaster for me – getting married to one of the most amazing people on the planet in October of 2018 and then my brother Marc dying of suicide just a few months later in February 2019.  The following summer Ana and I helped my mother move from her home of 30 years, I endured a truly spectacular case of poison ivy (I now know EXACTLY what that plant looks like!), and I had my gall bladder removed.  Then, as we all know, the pandemic hit us a year ago in March 2020 causing us to figure out new ways of being together and maintaining a sense of community.  And, now, my sweet dog Bella is in gradual decline and caring for her has become very physical.  In all of this, I’ve been aware of your care of and love for me – through prayers and notes and other small gifts of affection.  Thank you!

    The experience of being your priest has been one of gratitude and joy.  But leading a congregation is a lot of responsibility and has many emotional ups and downs as I celebrate and grieve with each of you.  I’ve been fortunate to have excellent people in leadership to assist in these years – Wardens, Vestry, Staff.   Really, I’m so grateful for you all.

    So, in all the things that I’ve needed to attend to, I’ve never actually afforded myself the time and space to grieve Marc’s death.  Now, I would be foolish to think that grief is something you can simply “take care of” in a week’s time.  Everyone’s grief has its own path and its own schedule.  But next week, I will devote my time and resources to the part of myself that just misses my brother – to give myself the space to reflect on who he was and who he continues to be in my heart, and to allow myself to really think about how his death has had an impact on my family.  And to find a way to begin to bring some closure, if possible, to all the feelings that arise when someone you love has died of suicide.

    So, I will be out of touch next week – from Monday, March 8 returning to work on Tuesday, March 16.  Aside from Wednesday Open Prayer and Friday Morning Bible Study, the full schedule of prayer and worship services will continue.  And if you need anything, please reach out to Deacon Sue, or one of our wardens – Lynn Dennison or Claudette Ford.

    I will appreciate your prayers this coming week, if you would.  But please do not email or text me with them.  I know God will be with me as I do this work.

    In God’s love and mine, Rev. Michelle


    Announcements for March 7, 2021

    THIS SUNDAY!  Pastoral Care Meeting  Join us after communion at 12:30.  All are welcome.  Click here to join:

    Do you have “candle cups?”  You know, the white plastic cups that hold our candles at Christmas Eve?  They were a part of the Advent Worship Boxes this year.  We’d love to make sure they make it back to the Altar Guild’s closet.  So, if you have one (or more!) bring them by the Rectory and leave them in the mailbox by the door.  Or, bring them with you when you pick up your Holy Week Bags later in March.

    The Clothing Shed is open again!  Yes, the clothing shed in our parking lot is open again.  Please let everyone know that they can drop off clothing and housewares (textiles only!).  Everything needs to be in a sealed bag and every bit helps to raise money for St. John’s.

    The Page Turners Book Club:  For April 6th we are reading “Apeirogon,” by Colum McCann. We meet at 7 pm, by Zoom, for about an hour. Contact Lynn Dennison for more information at:

    Holy Week Bags!  Yes, we’ve already begun to plan Holy Week.  If you would like to have a bag of worship items to help you celebrate Holy Week at home (including printed bulletins!), please use this link to fill out the form ASAP.  Be sure to sign up before Wednesday, March 24.  Holy Week Bags Sign-up – St. John’s Kingston

    Lenten Fun and Games: Lent Madness
    What?!  But Lent is supposed to be solemn and serious!  Well this year, we need a little levity and silliness.  So all the members of St. John’s are invited to participate in Lent Madness.  We start on Thursday, February 18 so sign up now and get ready: Lent Madness

    Have an announcement for the bulletin?
    Please send by Wednesday at noon to